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Donald Trump once more risked the wrath of the surviving members of the rock band Queen again after he was introduced on the opening night of the Republican National Convention with the triumphant strains of “We Are the Champions.”
After sweeping the Republican primaries, Donald Trump was feeling pretty triumphant, so he blasted Queen’s 1977 anthem when he walked onstage for a victory speech. The legendary British band’s guitarist Brian May wasn’t having it, though, issuing a strongly worded letter saying permission to use the song was “neither sought nor given.”
In a note posted Wednesday on his personal website, May wrote, “I’ve had an avalanche of complaints — some of which you can see in our ‘LETTERS’ page — about Donald Trump using our ‘We Are the Champions’ track as his ‘theme’ song on USA TV,” May wrote. “This is not an official Queen statement, but I can confirm that permission to use the track was neither sought nor given. We are taking advice on what steps we can take to ensure this use does not continue. Regardless of our views on Mr Trump’s platform, it has always been against our policy to allow Queen music to be used as a political campaigning tool. Our music embodies our own dreams and beliefs, but it is for all who care to listen and enjoy.”
He wasn’t kidding about the Letters page, either, as it contained a number of notes from miffed Queen fans on the topic. “I find it hard to believe that Trump and his organization have been given permission to use this song for his ‘identity,'” wrote one fan, who took issue with the use of the song. “This man has done everything he can to insult or dismiss Muslims, Mexicans, women, war heroes, opponents, news media and a long list of specific individuals in our society. His approach has basically been as a bully. I cannot see any correlation between the music Queen produced supporting a man who has turned our country upside down. I wouldn’t mind if he were concerned about the American people, or those of the world, but his ‘Championship’ is about himself. Period.”
May responded, “We certainly have not approved this use of WATC — I will make sure we take what steps we can to dissociate ourselves from Donald Trump’s unsavoury campaign.”
The legendary guitarist is just the latest musician to kindly ask the Donald to stop using their music at his rallies. So far, former R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe has politely asked the billionaire businessman to “go f— yourselves” after he pumped “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine),” and Everlast similarly requested that he quit playing House of Pain’s “Jump Around.” Aerosmith and Neil Young also have made similar demands.
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.
July 18, 9:00 p.m. Updated with details of “We Are The Champions” being played at the Republican National Convention.
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